Being prepared: The importance of April & May for junior football recruits across the country

There is no doubt that before May of your junior year in high school, it is extremely difficult to really gauge how interest college coaches are in you as a prospect. I receive that very question quite frequently from families throughout the country. How can I judge what college coaches are serious about me as a recruit? And as I have said many times before, it is difficult to tell before the month of May.

Before May, these coaches are limited to the amount of contact that they can have with you. Their could be letters, questionnaires, camp invites (which I obviously love), game day invites, Junior Day invites, and things along those lines. They can also offer scholarships and in a lot of cases with their top recruits they do. But unless they have offered you a scholarship, the first time you can tell what programs are serious about you as a football recruit is during the month of May.

The major thing that college coaches can do during May is call junior prospects. Before this month, they are rather limited to the amount of attention that they can show these recruits overall. But once the college coaches start making calls, then it is much easier to get a good feel for what schools are actually recruiting you and not just trying to pad their camp numbers.

So why do these calls mean so much? I know there are exceptions but I am willing to say that 95% of the athletes who end up with Division I-A football scholarships from colleges get a call from the colleges during the month of May. There are obvious exceptions but they are rare. If a college is serious enough about you to offer and you are on their radar this early in the process, there is no doubt in my mind that they will call.

I have said many times before as well that you should wait until mid to late May to figure out where you want to attend college football camps. The reason is because this month gives you a good feel for what schools are serious about you and which ones are not. You may have been an All State player as a junior who received camp invites from ten schools. But if only three called during the month, then you should know that there are only three schools that are serious about you as a player.

If your entire intent of the summer football camp circuit is to get a scholarship offer, then there is no need to go to a camp (and especially independent combines that I hate) unless they call during May. College coaches need these numbers high because it helps supplement their income. Many athletes consider that camp invite to show that they are seriously recruiting you. As I have said many times, they are not.

The other vital part of May (and late April as well) is that these college coaches will be making visits to the high schools. While the head coaches are not longer able to make the trips, assistant football coaches throughout the country will spend a good portion of the month scouring the country for talent. But let me stress that a high school visit from a college coaches does not mean nearly as much as a call from the coach.

These coaches try to get into the doors of as many high schools as they can. Many of these college coaches have also established relationships with prep coaches so that they visit them every spring. That happens all around the country. A few years back I even heard about UCLA making visits to some of the smaller states in the Midwest. Do you really think the Bruins were going hard after some Midwest athletes? They are just making the rounds and possibly opening some doors down the line.

May really is an exciting month for junior football recruits. For those getting the calls that they want, you will finally get a feel for what schools are serious about you. For those not hearing from the schools that they want, it is a great time to start looking at lower levels and opening the recruiting process. I plan to write about this more later but all is not lost if you were hoping for more calls and visits. It happens and doesn’t mean you won’t get to play college football. It may mean you won’t play it at the highest level, but that isn’t always a bad thing if you have Division I eyes.

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